Evoking memories of home

'Utkal Dibas'

Bangaloreans hailing from Odisha were in for a treat at the Utkal Dibas 
(Odisha Day), which was held recently. 

The programme was organised by the Odisha Cultural Association (OCA) at the Indiranagar Sangeetha Sabha. 
 
The celebrations included a cultural show. 

The highlights of the evening were the Gotipua and odissi performances by the Konark Natya Mandap. 

Authentic Oriya delicacies added to the favour of the evening. |

Also on display were fabrics and dress material from Odisha.

Ashok Soota, chairman and co-founder of Happiest Mind Technologies and the chief guest of the evening, said, “I have a lot of memories of the place from a young age.”

Utkal Ranjan Mohanty, vice-president of OCA, added, “Since the state of Odisha was formed in April, we have organised this event. It’s a good chance for those from the community to bond with one another. The dance troupe has been brought in especially for this show all the way from Odisha.”

However, he rued about the limited interest in cultural activities among the community.

 “There are a number of those who hail from Odisha living in Bangalore. However, the problem is that many of them don’t venture out for such programmes because of the distance and traffic. The number of people who should be here should be much higher. A performance of this sort deserves many more spectators,” he said. 

He further explained, “Most of those from Odisha in the City are IT professionals, many of whom are not interested in keeping in touch with their roots. They aren’t inclined and enthusiastic to attend cultural programmes.” 
 
Even though limited in number, the audience who made their way to the event after work, was an impressed lot. 

“It’s been wonderful to speak in my mother tongue and listen to some local songs once again. Watching the dance performances took me back to my hometown. Short of going home, this is a good chance to re-live my memories of home,” said Alok, a member of the audience. 

Nisha, another member of the audience who came along with her family, said, “We made it a point to come even though it’s a weekday because we wanted to meet up with others from our community. However, I wish others were more enthusiastic about the celebrations. This is one of the few chances when we get to see our cultural activities.”

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